Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Signature Style

I just read this on Melody Johnson's blog:

"A signature style is about consumerism, not art. It makes life easier for those who are selling, buying or writing about the artist's work."
Raya in the Tech Talk Forum at

Melody said, "Wow, that really hit me smack in the head when I read it in Artist's Magazine (June 09 issue). It makes so much sense. Somehow we are convinced that we must have a recognizable style to either BE an artist or SUCCEED as an artist. Conversely, those who create in various categories or work in myriad media are sometimes considered dabblers rather than real artists. That can't be true either."

I've often thought about the 'signature thing' and I'm not so sure getting attached to a signature style is such a great thing artwise. It's appealing to come up with some quirk or statement that is your own special trademark, but if you make the trademark a central part of your work, doesn't it limit your possibilities? I like the idea of maybe always including a very small and unobtrusive signature in my work - something that can be embedded into any piece of any kind without dictating the artistic direction of the work. I love peace signs (a symbol from my youth), and I think I can include a peace sign in some way in each piece of work without basing the work on having that signature hidden away in it someplace. On the other hand, if you choose something more integral to the art as your signature, then every piece you do will be limited to working around that signature. For example, I thought about a peace sign face as my "signature" in my dolls. But do I really want to limit my scope like that? Do I want to choose one style of doll that I always create so that my dolls always look similar? No. Too limiting. In my opinion, if you're gonna choose a signature, make it something that can reside unobtrusively in any style of art you might create. Don't attach yourself to something that requires a certain media or style every time. Chances are your style may change and grow over time - unless you force yourself to remain loyal to a limiting "signature" that might result in stagnation of your artistic growth.

1 comment:

Lady P said...

thank you for this posting - it really was what I needed to read at this time in my creative life -and here you were, channeling for me here on your blog!! I followed this link over from a new follower on my blog - and glad that I did!